So we show up at the DOL. Again. Well, first time for me, second time for the au pair. I am determined to show Dr. Chako that I can do this.
When we returned, the lines weren't as long, but we still had to take a number. We waited.
"There he is. The bad man." My au pair points to some guy at the end I haven't seen before. "He's the one who said 'no'."
I cross my fingers. Hoping he might have to go to lunch. Hoping he won't call our number.
When it gets close, I start feeling better. There is some old salt at the desk who I've dealt with before. I take a deep breath. Think sunshine and rainbows.
Sure enough. Old Salt is our guy. When our number is called, we jump up quickly so as not to lose his attention.
"Good morning . . . oops, good afternoon, sir," I muster with all the syrupy goodness of a Georgia sweet tea (which, by the way, is pretty disgusting to me). "You know, we were in earlier and got some confusing information. In fact, I'm VERY happy to have you helping us, as you've done this for my au pairs before and we've NEVER had any trouble . . . "
I go on to explain that I presented all of the same documents we had before when we've licensed our other au pairs, but that for some reason, this time we were told they were not sufficient.
"Let's check the system," he says, smiling. He must like sweet tea.
He takes all her paperwork. Scrunches up his eyebrows. "Why, she's not even in the system! They should have put her in the system and they could just ask for the additional paperwork when its time to issue her license . . . customers who've waited in line that long shouldn't have to come back and get in line."
Grrrr. Exactly what I was thinking.
But I smiled sweetly. "Oh, it doesn't matter now, sir. We're here now, and you're helping us and will get her in the system, I'm sure, and that's all that matters." At this point, the sugar is crystallizing in my throat and making me gag a little, but he seems to be smiling even more. He must REALLY like sweet tea.
He looks over the documents. "Well, you see, some folks . . . well, they might say that this document (holds up J-1 visa) isn't one of the ones on the list, but they can't think outside of the box. Me, I see it was issued by Homeland Security and has your address on . . . well, that's good enough for me."
"You know, that's exactly what I was thinking and exactly how you've helped us before. I guess I just assumed everyone else would be as thoughtful and reasonable as you." I am close to throwing up in my mouth, a little.
He tap, tap, taps on the keyboard a bit, and then asks her about testing. "She'd like to take it in Spanish, if that's ok."
"No," he says matter of factly. Then laughs. "I'm just kidding. Spanish it is."
We laugh appropriately.
"Terminal #10," he says. And so ends the DOL story. Now she just has to pass the written and driving parts, and we're good to go.
I had to rinse my mouth out when I got home. But sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.
I got her in, didn't I?